Sunday, April 3, 2011

Don't Make a Scene: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

The Set-Up: Charlie Sheen ("his real name is" Carlos Estevez) has been in the news lately (maybe you've heard something about it).

What is funny, ironically funny, is that latter-day Charlie Sheen would benefit from a talk with this kid he played in his movie debut.  "What do you care what other people think?  Just shut up and go about your business."

And for that ironic bit of self-ignorance, Charlie Sheen gets to be the scene for this first Sunday after April Fool's Day.

The Story:  Jeanie Bueller (Jennifer Grey) is making it her business to expose her brother Ferris (Matthew Broderick) for falsely pretending sickness to skip school.  It is not going well.  Returning home to catch him not in the act (and frustrated by his ability to get away with it—and achieving an out-sized fame for doing so), she becomes alarmed when she thinks the Bueller home is being broken into—by school principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), who is attempting the exact same thing she's doing.  A call to the police contrarily lands her in jail, where she sits...and stews.


(Script Deletions are in Red.  On-set changes are in Green.)


Jeanie is distracted by the sound of cracking knuckles

Jeanie's sitting on a wooden bench with a WASTED TEENAGE BOY
in a Triumph t-shirt, long hair, torn jeans, creepers, studs
and chains.

He's studying her.

BOY Drugs?

JEANIE Uh...No, thank you. I'm straight.

BOY I meant, are you in here for drugs?

Jeanie stares at him.

JEANIE Why are you here?

BOY Drugs.

JEANIE I don't know why I'm here.

BOY Then why don't you go home?

JEANIE Why don't you put your thumb up your butt?

The boy stares at her.

BOY  You wear too much eye make-up.

BOY  My sister wears too much.  People think she's a whore.

BOY You don't want to talk about your problem?

JEANIE With you? Are you serious?

BOY Yeah, I'm serious.

JEANIE Blow yourself.

Jeanie turns away. The boy crosses his legs. Jeanie looks back at him.

JEANIE You really want to know what's wrong?

The boy shrugs.

BOY I know what's wrong.  I just wanna hear you say it.

JEANIE Alright. If you've got the time, I've got the troubles. In a nutshell, I hate my brother. How's that?

BOY That's cool. Did you shoot blow him away or something?

JEANIE No, not yet.

The boy nods. He understands the emotion.

JEANIE I went home to...

JEANIE  ...confirm that the shithead was ditching school and when I was there a guy broke into the house...

JEANIE ...and I called the cops and they picked me up for making a phoney phone call.

BOY What do you care if your brother ditches school?

Jeanie stares at the boy.

JEANIE Why should he get to ditch school when everybody else has to go?

BOY You could ditch.

JEANIE I'd get caught.
BOY  I see.

BOY So, you're pissed at him because he ditches and doesn't get caught?
JEANIE Basically.
BOY  Basically.

The boy nods knowingly.

BOY Then your problem is you.

JEANIE Excuse me?
BOY Excuse you.

BOY You oughta need to spend a little more time dealing with yourself and a little less time worrying about what your brother does.

BOY It's just an opinion.

Jeanie stares angrily at him. Partly because he's so bold and partly because he's so right.


JEANIE What are you, a psychiatrist now? 
JEANIE Why don't you keep your opinions to yourself?

BOY There's somebody you should talk to.

Jeanie stares at him threateningly.

JEANIE If you say Ferris Bueller, you lose a testicle.

BOY Oh, You know him?


It curls into a fist.  With an audible crack.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Words by John Hughes

Pictures by Tak Fujimoto and John Hughes

Ferris Bueller's Day Off is available on DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment.

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